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PRANCES IDA GRACEY IN GIRLHOOD 



A SALUTE TO 
THE VALIANT 

By WILLIAM VALENTINE KELLEY 

FOREWORD 

By 
BISHOP HOMER C. STUNTZ 




THE METHODIST BOOK CONCERN 

NEW YORK CINCINNATI 






f- 



Copyright, 1918, by 
WILLIAM VALENTINE KELLEY 



AUG 22 fb/B 

©CI.A501591 



IN TRIBUTE 

To those who exalt human nature and 
dignify life by that passive courage, named 
fortitude, which Locke calls the guard and 
support of all other virtues — courage in 
comparison with which mere daring is but 
casual and inconstant, desultory and flighty ; 
those who for our ennobling show us that 
steady patience in suffering which Milton 
extols as the truest fortitude, and who in 
desperate conditions come off more than con- 
queror : 

In tribute, further, to those who have a 
heart to feel for others' woes and who min- 
ister thereto : 

In tribute, finally, to all who, with world- 
visioning missionary minds, looking on 
perishing multitudes at home and abroad, 
share the spirit of Saint Paul in Frederick 
Myer's poem: 

" Then with a thrill the intolerable craving 
Shivers through me like a trumpet call. 
Oh, to save these, to perish for their saving. 
Die for their life, be offered for them all." 



Oh, fear not in a world like this, 
And thou shalt know ere long — 

Know how sublime a thing it is 
To suffer and be strong. 

— Longfellow. 



O pusillanimous heart, be comforted, 
And like a cheerful traveller take the road 

Singing beside the hedge. 
What if the bread be bitter in thine inn, 
And thou unshod to meet the flints? 

At least it may be said, 
"Because the way is short, I thank thee, God." 

— Mrs. Browning. 



Knowledge by suffering entereth, 
And life is perfected by death. 

— Mrs. Browning. 



FOREWORD 

This book, in its present form, is the re- 
sult of stout protest ! This protest was spon- 
taneous and from wide areas. It came from 
different continents and from many sorts of 
readers. These readers protested against 
the immurement of this literary jewel in the 
editorial pages of the Methodist Review, 
where its rays first flashed their light before 
our gaze. Now the aforesaid Review is an 
honorable publication, instituted of God in 
the time of Methodism's infancy, and com- 
mended of many saints as rich with thought 
and freighted with literary and theological 
merchandise of great price. But only rela- 
tively few have the enlightenment to lay its 
pages under tribute, and once the current 
numbers had passed into the files, and, 

"... above it, sere and swift, 
Packed the daily deepening drift 
Of the all-recording, all-effacing files — 
The Obliterating, automatic files," 

7 



FOREWORD 

we who protested knew that this Salute to 
the Valiant would have been offered in vain 
so far as the general reading public are con- 
cerned. 

Saluting is an art. It involves much. Its 
mastery demands definition of relationships 
and practice in technique. Doubters should 
visit army training camps and study the evo- 
lution of the Salute. From refusal to con- 
sent, and from consent to alertness in recog- 
nizing those to whom the tribute is due, and 
on through the stages of its development to 
the quick, snappy, finished Salute of the 
Lance Corporal whose heart is set on a 
Sergeant's stripes or the bar of a First Lieu- 
tenant, the Salute is seen as indeed an art 
"not to be mastered in haste." 

Fundamental to the mastery of this high 
art is the understanding of mutual relation- 
ship. It must be firmly implanted in the 
mind of the recruit that a salute is given by 
an inferior to a superior. The giving of this 
tribute is the public recognition of the low 
estate of the giver and the high estate of the 
one to whom it is given. And just here is 

8 



FOREWORD 

the key to this essay on the theme treated 
so brilliantly, so sympathetically by Dr. 
Kelley. He hastens to concede that the 
really heroic in life are not always those in 
whose praise the huzzas of the multitude are 
heard, or on whose uniforms the medals for 
"gallantry in action" are hung, amid the 
crash of bands, and before the admiring eyes 
of thousands. Proof follows close upon ad- 
mission, and passionate pressing of the point 
is the climax of this most remarkable Salute 
to the obscure saints who conquer though 
they die. Their superiority in all that really 
matters calls for the Salute. It calls im- 
periously. To deny the Salute is a breach 
of life's highest discipline. The inferior must 
recognize the superior. 

Does any one question whether the finest 
heroisms of life are to be found in sick rooms, 
and in lowly places and among unnoted folk? 
The cool courage of the man under the gruel- 
ing test of artillery fire, or while charging 
through the leaden death from machine gun- 
nery, may well be the theme of poetry and 
oratory; but there is a real discount to be 

9 



FOREWORD 

allowed from the face of it when brought 
into comparison with the lasting and sunny- 
fortitude, undismayed and unbowed by all 
the battering of physical anguish through 
years of hopeless misery, which this book 
undertakes to salute. The hardest test is 
not when the soldier, in the thick of the rush, 
makes a wild dash at the enemy. The 
severest test comes when no spectators and 
no companions are about, and no excitement 
begotten by the battle's roar heats the blood 
and fires the imagination. The test is "to 
stand and be still." The Salute of this book 
is to those whose lot is "to stand and be still!" 
From Job to Ida Gracey discerning souls 
have recognized the superiority of those who 
were being made perfect through suffering, 
and have given them that tribute which Dr. 
Kelley calls a Salute to the Valiant. Fortu- 
nate is the one who desires to offer this Salute 
aright if he shall be permitted to study the 
technique of the matter here. Felicitous and 
commanding phrasing lure and compel read- 
ing straight on to the end. Allusion and 
quotation, apt, illuminating, and wide-rang- 

10 



FOREWORD 

ing, leave amateur writers in wonder and 
despair. Does the secret of such mastery 
of literary material lie in copious notebooks 
on the reading of a lifetime, all indexed and 
cross-indexed that their spoil may be rifled 
on occasion? Or is it possible to train one's 
memory to carry loads like that and deliver 
them on call? Answer how ye may, here lie 
riches, and the author will be none the poorer 
if we all help ourselves to the lessons and 
really secure a truer and a finer test of valor 
than we possessed before the volume passed 
into our hands. 

Homer Clyde Stuntz. 



11 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

To Evelyn in heaven the poet says, with 
lifted eyes, rememberingly : 

"Your soul was pure and true. 
The good stars met in your horoscope, 
Made you of spirit, fire and dew." 

To us the poet says : 

"Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead! 

Sit by her side and watch an hour. 
That is her book-shelf, this her bed; 

She left that piece of geranium flower, 
Beginning to die too, in the glass; 

Little has yet been changed, I think; 
The shutters are shut, no light may pass 

Save two long rays through the hinge's chink." 

"Not an enticing invitation," thinks the 
average human being; "what can it profit me 
to sit by a dead girl's side and watch an 
hour? I pray thee have me excused." 

Edward IV of England created the office 
of Poet Laureate, the prescribed duty of 

13 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

which was to compose odes for his Majesty's 
birthday and for other royal occasions. 
Long familiarity with the pathetic side of 
the human lot impels us to act for once as 
prose laureate to a truly royal family, the 
family of those who endure severe bodily 
afflictions with more than royal fortitude. 
We volunteer for once as annalist of in- 
valids, not of the self-indulgent, languishing 
sort, nor the fretful, querulous, exacting 
kind, but of chronic sufferers patiently en- 
during painful and incurable illness, whose 
story calls upon us to exploit not the misery 
but the magnificence of suffering, sufferers 
who stand in noble contrast with certain sour 
and moping malcontents who have really 
little to complain of and much to be thank- 
ful for. We know a household in which the 
most afflicted member, totally blind and 
totally deaf and with a full share of other 
ailments, furnishes the final courage and 
cheer for the family. When the others are 
blue she blithely and grittily remarks, "Well, 
if I can keep my spirits up, I think the rest 
of you might try." Happily Providence 

14 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

provides us with a favorable opportunity to 
personalize in one concrete case a large and 
meritorious class, known chiefly to physi- 
cians, surgeons, nurses, good pastors, and 
private family circles, a class which develops 
hardy virtues to a high degree, hid away in 
seclusion, unnoticed by the bustling, boister- 
ous, healthy world — the class of patient en- 
durers of prolonged physical suffering. Our 
tribute, while immediately inspired by one 
particular character, also intends honor to 
the entire class few of whom are ever set in 
the limelight. By including the whole great 
class we secure spaciousness of theme and 
wide warrant for our tribute, using, as type 
and text for a meditation larger than her- 
self, one who was vividly and modestly aware 
of her class and its bravery, counting herself 
only a very humble private soldier of the In- 
valid Corps. 

At this moment our feelings are like 
those of the biographer of Adolphe Monod 
when he said, "It is difficult to tell the plain 
truth about Monod's almost perfect charac- 
ter without seeming to exaggerate. There 

15 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

was in him a combination of natural gaiety 
with Christian seriousness, each balancing 
the other, which made a singularly gracious, 
appealing, and winning personality." Sid- 
ney Lanier wrote of a certain "May morn- 
ing which no words could describe unless 
words were themselves May mornings." We 
will endeavor to write soberly without cant 
or maudlin sentimentality, and to tell no lies. 
If, when the facts are set in order, they 
stand, like Era Angelico's tall trumpeting 
angels, blowing a eulogy, neither blame nor 
credit will belong to us. 

"Why, that child limps!" exclaimed a 
fond father, watching his little two-year-old 
toddle across the floorjn the Clifton Springs 
parsonage one day in the middle-seventies. 
That was what scarlet fever had done to the 
baby; and this darling of the Gracey home 
must go limping on into childhood, youth, 
and womanhood, because no orthopedic 
therapy then known could save her. Ed- 
mund Clarence Stedman, after his wife's 
death left him "old and lonely and afraid," 
recalled how, when he took her as a girl- 

16 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

bride, he vowed that the feet of his Laura 
should never tread rough ground. That 
bridegroom vow he kept for fifty years. For 
himself life's road was sometimes rough, yet 
his stout strength held his Laura's feet above 
the sharp flints and the bruising stones. But 
neither strong man nor guardian angel could 
lift the feet of little Ida Graeey clear of 
hurt or make smooth the way for them. A 
Chinese proverb says, "A lame duck should 
avoid the plowed field," but the whole world 
is a plowed field for the cripple. Even a 
level road is uneven to the lame. Every step 
is a jolt, with no shock-absorber save forti- 
tude. This baby was sentenced to drag the 
ball-and-chain of lameness all her life. Even 
doing her spirited best to offset her handi- 
cap and keep up with the sound-limbed por- 
tion of mankind, it was yet her lot through 
all her years to see their free swift strength 
go past her, while she took, in that respect, 
the dust of disadvantage on life's road. Yet 
beware of pitying this maimed little maid 
too much, for she had her full share of vic- 
tory. She won all hearts. On the open road 

17 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

of the world she was so brave and sweet a 
figure that strong travelers stopped to re- 
gard her winsomeness, some of whom, like 
pilgrims pausing at a shrine, hung up tokens 
of reverent admiration around her. It is 
only fair to recognize how much loveliness 
has gone limping through the world ; and 
those who knew her believe that Charles 
Lamb's description, "lame and lovely/' never 
had fairer embodiment than in Frances Ida 
Gracey, who, despite her painful infirmity, 
triumphantly accomplished an active, useful, 
and beneficent life. 

Fortunately, that tiny craft navigating 
unsteadily across the parsonage floor at Clif- 
ton Springs, with a sad list to larboard, was 
not altogether unprovisioned for life's voy- 
age; some good stuff in the lockers below 
decks. The Gracey blood was somewhat 
ferruginous, enough iron in it to make an 
inward brace for the crippled girl's spirit, 
whatever the orthopedists might do or fail 
to do outside for the lame limb. She was a 
missionary's child, and glancing back along 
the family line we get a glint of the racial 

18 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

ore in an incident at the Philadelphia Con- 
ference in 1861, when a public farewell was 
given to young John Talbot Gracey, about 
departing as missionary to India, which, in 
those days, required intrepid faith and cour- 
age. The young minister told his brethren, 
in Conference assembled, how when Bishop 
Simpson had brought him the call of the 
church to this far distant and perilous serv- 
ice, he entered upon forty-eight hours of 
secret struggle to ascertain, if he might, the 
will of God concerning him ; how he emerged 
from that divine interview with the convic- 
tion that he must regard the call of the church 
as the call of God, even if it ordered him 
to the ends of the earth; and how he then 
went to his aged parents to inquire their 
wishes. His father said, "My boy, go and 
do your duty, even though you die in it"; 
his mother said, "O my boy, I would rather 
die without a crust than that you should dis- 
obey the call of duty." So John T. Gracey 
and his wife, Annie Ryder — she no less self- 
less and sacrificial than he — embarked for 
a tedious five-months voyage in a sailing 

19 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

vessel, the ice-sliip Elouisa, from Boston to 
Calcutta, to reach India and labor there 
seven years, amid exposures and hardships 
and perils unknown there in these decades, 
until broken health forced the family home, 
to give, however, through all after years 
their supreme enthusiasm and energies for 
the promotion of the cause of missions. Thus 
the blood of at least two chivalrous gener- 
ations was in the veins of the baby-girl tod- 
dling lop-sidedly across the parsonage floor. 
Both heredity and example helped to give 
her some fine qualities. She was of high 
birth and breeding, born of the princeliest 
sort of people living the lordliest sort of lives, 
making the world a present of themselves, 
seeking not personal ease, honor, or gain, 
but only to "coin their blood in drachmas" 
for the enrichment of mankind. From her 
father especially she inherited force of will 
and the gift of laughter; from her mother 
especially her deep religiousness and strong 
faith. "The good stars met in her horoscope, 
made her of spirit, fire and dew." 

Through childhood and youth this lame 
20 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

girl did her best to live a normal life and 
keep up with her companions at school and 
elsewhere, spending glad summers in the 
family cottage at the Thousand Islands 
when all the woods were green and all the 
waters agleam; she as spirited and lively as 
the rest, flying about on her crutches, climb- 
ing over rocks, chasing a runaway donkey, 
boating, fishing, and catching more friends 
than fish, playing coon-songs and hymns on 
her banjo, and winning everybody: a fami- 
liar figure often seen sitting in the sun with 
bright face and wind-blown hair on the 
upper deck at the prow of the "Islander," 
winding through the narrow channels among 
the beautiful islands of the Saint Lawrence. 
At times there were visits to New York for 
surgical treatment at the hands of eminent 
specialists, all unavailing to an incurable, 
just as in later and harder years, when her 
eyes were very bad and the famous oculist 
came from Ithaca to her darkened room at 
Clifton, examined and tested for an hour, 
and then sat on the edge of her cot, saying 
pitifully, "Well, girlie," because he knew 

21 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

that in this as in her other ailments nothing 
could be done to better her condition. The 
instinctive cravings and hopes natural to a 
girl were frustrated from fruition. Once a 
deeply reciprocated love offered itself, but 
she had to repel it because, as she explained 
to a confidential friend, "When you're sick, 
you have to shut your heart"; adding, "It 
leaves an awful heartache." Her course 
through life was, for the most part, painful, 
like that of a fatally wounded fawn, and 
recalls George Meredith's poignant and 
pathetic phrase expressive of his pity for his 
afflicted wife — "the running of my poor doe 
with the inextricable arrow in her flank." 



Her last four or five years were spent in 
bed and in a darkened room, wasting away 
in sufferings which grew more intense and 
incessant. To the average human being an 
invitation to visit such a room may not seem 
alluring. Yet this invalid's chamber was a 
popular resort. Here was an invalid whom 
everybody enjoyed. When the progress of 

22 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

disease prostrated her and confined her to 
her room and bed, she said, "I will not be 
cut off from my customary life and buried 
before my time. This room shall be my 
parlor where my friends may come as usual." 
And there, until the end came, she received 
both friends and strangers, often turning 
strangers into friends. Visitors of many 
kinds, lands, and languages sought the privi- 
lege of entrance there. On a summer after- 
noon when two friends sat beside her, one 
said to the other, half in play, wholly in 
earnest: "An admission fee ought to be 
charged here, and the money given to For- 
eign Missions. There are people who would 
pay more for a seat at this bedside than for 
a box at grand opera." 

II 

Not only was that room much frequented, 
but also its bed-ridden occupant was a far 
traveler. She "shut in"? There are no bars 
for such a spirit. The missionary mind has 
the world-outlook, is aware of the wide 
world, and its sympathies range with its in- 

23 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

telligence. That intrepid lone missionary 
woman, Dr. Martha E. Sheldon, hid away 
in a corner of Bhot far up in the Himalaya 
Mountains on the borders of Tibet, was out 
of the world if anybody was, yet was en 
rapport with the human race, and wrote 
vividly: "I can feel the rocking of the North 
Pole when Peary touches it, and can feel 
the biting wind that blows in Shackelton's 
face as he toils on toward the South Pole." 
Likewise this missionary-hearted girl, al- 
most hermetically sealed in her room at 
Clifton Springs, could hear the cries of 
little cripples on the opposite side of the 
earth and felt her own ribs crack when they 
were beaten. In the night their moans shook 
her secluded cot and sobbed themselves to 
sleep upon the shoulder of her sympathy. 
When the Zuni Indians were in Boston a 
large reception was given them by a philan- 
thropist at his home. One stalwart Indian, 
feeling almost suffocated by the close indoor 
air, abruptly left the crowded parlor in the 
middle of the evening and strode out into 
the street, saying: "Indian want room. In- 

24 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

dian walk large." The missionary mind 
"walks large," ranges, explores, investigates, 
discovers; knows what is going on in the 
world and feels fraternal toward all man- 
kind, toward "Men, my brothers, men, the 
workers, ever doing something new, things 
which they have done but earnest of the 
things which they shall do." The alert mis- 
sionary mind of this imprisoned sick girl 
saw and heard more through her keyhole 
than some globe-trotters can bring back re- 
port of from a trip around the world. 

Ill 

Visitors to that room found there not a 
mere spectacle, but an experience. They 
met with some surprises. For one surprise, 
they found not a suppliant for sympathy, but 
a sympathizer. With lips all primed to pour 
out solicitous words you go in to inquire of 
her what kind of a night she had and how 
she feels to-day; but before you have time 
to begin she "gets the drop" on you and pops 
the question first with her quick, chipper, 
"How are you to-day ?" Andbefore you know 

25 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

it she throws you back on yourself and gets 
you started on the one subject you are sure 
to be interested in; and presently you wake 
up to the fact that, instead of sympathizing 
with her, you've been talking at length about 
your own precious self and your affairs till 
you feel ashamed. As to sympathy she 
thought it more blessed to give than to re- 
ceive. Well people, strong people, went to 
her with their troubles ; hours and hours they 
sat beside her bed to pour out their heart- 
break : and they testified that she was to them 
an unspeakable blessing. A young woman 
whose mother died in the morning fled to 
this sick girl for comfort, and spent nearly 
all day fairly clinging to her. She was a 
living soul and a quickening spirit, wise and 
experienced in sorrow and heartache and 
anguish, and knew just what to say and do 
for spirits in distress. A sanitarium guest 
who had heard of her, asked the privilege of 
an interview. "Ten minutes," said the phy- 
sician. The next time she saw him she wrung 
his hand and said with tears, "How can I 
thank you enough for letting me see her? 

26 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

I'm a better woman forever, I'm ashamed 
of myself. I could see she was suffering, 
but she ignored it and talked sweetly to me 
with smiles. How can she do it?" A wise 
and tender Bible teacher, deeply versed in 
Scripture and in the grim experiences of life, 
came that way and morning after morning 
talked in chapel on the "Ministry of Suffer- 
ing." He taught the guests some things, and 
may have hoped to teach her something. He 
sat by her bedside and told her he under- 
stood her lot — he had once been ill and suf- 
fering for five years. But he could not teach 
her anything. He was surprised to find that 
she knew more about suffering and its con- 
solations than he did. She had been a suf- 
ferer all her life. 

From some human interviews we come 
away uplifted or in some way stirred; 
"shaken and elate" was William Vaughan 
Moody's phrase, after meeting on the ice at 
sunset, on a glittering January day, a young 
Irish girl, a picture of rosy health. "I came 
away," he says, "shaken and elate. It is thus 
that angels converse. She was something 

m 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

absolutely authentic, new and inexpressible, 
something which only nature could mix for 
the heart's intoxication." But men and 
women young and old have come away 
equally "shaken and elate" from a sickroom, 
proving that a wan and wasted sufferer, 
prone and powerless on her pillows, may also 
mix a draft "for the heart's intoxication" as 
potent as the red nectar of blooming health. 
"Give me health and a day," shouts Emer- 
son, "and I will make the pomp of emperors 
ridiculous." "Give me sickness and a night," 
this gallant girl could have said, "and I will 
splendor the darkness with a radiance out- 
shining Areturus and his sons, Orion and his 
sword." 

And we are by no means intending to 
present her as superior to all her class, of 
which she is taken as a fine type. Richard 
Burton found a similar sufferer in Los 
Angeles and wrote the following verses : 

"I know a girl of presence fresh and fair. 
She lies a-bed year-long, and so has lain 
For half a lifetime; flower-sweet the air; 
The room is darkened to relieve her pain. 
28 




IDA GRACEY IN LATER YEARS 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

"There is no hope held out of healing her, 

You could not blame her if she turned her face 
Sullen unto the wall, and did demur 
From further breathing in her prison place. 

"Not so; her sick bed is a throne, wherefrom 
She doth most royally her favors grant; 
Thither the needy and the wretched come, 
She is At Home to every visitant. 

"They call her Little Sister: for her heart 

Goes out to each that takes her by the hand, 
In sisterly devotion; 'tis her part 
To feel, to succor, and to understand. 



"One never thinks of woe beside her bed, 

So blithe she bends beneath the rigorous rod; 
She does not seem like one uncomforted, 

Her prayers like songs go bubbling up to God. 

"Hers is the inner secret of the soul; 

Radiant renouncement, love and fellow cheer — 
These things do crown her as an aureole, 

Making her saintly, while they make her dear." 

When that tribute appeared in Scribner's 
Monthly in December, 1911, Ida Gracey's 
friends who saw it were startled at the close 
resemblance. All who knew her will agree 

29 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

that the verses fit her perfectly. Doubtless 
both these wonderful girls are exceptional, 
even in their heroic class, in blending the 
Spartan with the Christian virtues in a high 
degree, but they typify a large and noble 
class. 

The man who wrote his friend, tortured by 
gout, "The pain in your foot I can bear very 
well" ; and Madame de Pompadour, in whom 
Francis Parkman saw a similar "fortitude 
in enduring the sufferings of others" ; and the 
lady of whom it was said, "Herself first, 
her pet dog a bad second, and the rest of the 
world nowhere": these represent the all-too- 
prevalent human habit. But Ida Gracey 
was of those who say with Madame du 
Chatelet, "I have a pain in my sister's side." 
She did not spend sympathy on herself, but 
on others. No one ever heard her use words 
like those of Mrs. Browning's Aurora Leigh, 
"My own self pity, like a red-breast bird, 
goes back to cover all my past with leaves." 
She did not imagine herself exceptionally 
afflicted. Rather, she bore her lot of pain in 
the spirit of Longfellow's lines : 

30 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

"My lot is the common lot of all, 
Into each life some rain must fall; 
Some days must be dark and dreary." 

IV 

No one was surprised when Gladstone 
called his large comfortable library at 
Hawarden the "Temple of Peace." But you 
are surprised at finding the chamber of suf- 
fering seem like a temple of peace. You tap 
on the copper-sheathed door, and a clear, 
sweet voice like the voice of a child answers, 
"Come." Entering you see in the little bed 
a dainty girl, dark-haired, dark-eyed, im- 
maculate in white robe dotted with tiny pink 
bows, her mother's college-society badge 
pinned at her slim throat. Knowing that 
her body is often more pierced with pangs 
than Saint Sebastian's with arrows, and see- 
ing a hand reached out to welcome you, so 
fragile you fear to touch it lest you break 
the thinnest hand you ever saw, you wonder 
that her face can wear so serene a smile. Sit- 
ting down beside her you have the sense of 
something like a benediction falling from 

SI 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

her face, and you might recall how Violet, 
in the story, when she was arranging the pic- 
tures on her walls, said, "Let us hang the 
Fra Angelico facing the door to give an im- 
pression of peace and beauty to all who 
enter" ; but in this room there is no need of 
Fra Angelico's angels to give such an im- 
pression to the visitor, the ineffably sweet 
face upon the pillow being enough for that. 

V 

"The Little Sanctuary," one called her 
room. On a Sunday morning a man past 
sixty, somewhat worn by labor and sorrow, 
religiously preferring her to the chapel serv- 
ice, sat an hour by her bedside in the stillness 
of that shaded room where the talk wandered 
casually along in a peaceful sort of way, 
without effort to make it particularly pious, 
ending in a kind of friendly gossip about life 
and folks and our nearest neighbor, God; 
the interview finishing with a tiny prayer of 
thanksgiving and entreaty and trust. Then 
the man, tranquillized and spiritualized by 
that serene interview, rose and went, saying, 

S2 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

"The dearest kind of a talk!" and mentally 
naming that room "The Little Sanctuary/' 
Many times it was so in perfectly simple and 
natural ways to many a visitor. To watch 
that sweet, white face on the pillow, while 
she recited George Miiller's verses on prayer, 
was a holier and more touching experience 
than one has in hearing a priest intone the 
litany in a cathedral. It was such a sanc- 
tuary, with such a presence in it, as made one 
man's mind, as he came out of it one holy 
Sabbath afternoon, improvise as on an in- 
strument this reverent sentiment: "White 
Ida, angel of the Lord on earth, minister to 
many souls, minister even to my soul, mis- 
sionary to the ends of the earth." 

VI 

Her room at times resembled a miniature 
Literary Salon, with readings of prose and 
poetry, sometimes by authors from their own 
works. Two friends remember a Kipling 
afternoon when she listened with eager inter- 
est to Kipling's "If," which she could per- 
fectly understand. Times without number 

m 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

she had held on when there was no strength 
left in her except the strength of will that 
gave the order to hold on. Likewise she was 
captivated by his "Song of the Banjo" — a 
song sung about itself by the banjo as 
Tommy Atkins's favorite instrument, port- 
able and tunable in all climates, as it was also 
hers. There was a spark like valor in her 
eyes when the banjo was telling how it cheers 
the British soldier to the charge "when the 
order moves the line and the lean locked 
ranks go roaring down to die." In her most 
tortured years readings from Emily Dickin- 
son's quaint and naive poems and letters, the 
gift of a friend, gave her keen pleasure. 

VII 

This invalid's room was a Center of At- 
traction. Things animate and inanimate 
were drawn there as if by a magnet. Flowers 
had a fancy for flying to her from near and 
far, Boston, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Roches- 
ter, Syracuse, New York, and elsewhere, 
sometimes more than there was room for. 
Every spring, tiny Cecil Bruner roses, which 

34 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

the fairies tended in a nearby friendly gar- 
den, sent their earliest blooms to be pinned 
at her slender throat. Big bunches of white 
lilacs going down Main Street destined else- 
where changed their minds when they came 
abreast of the sanitarium and decided to go 
up in the elevator to keep company with this 
"Little White Lilac," as Mrs. H. W. Pea- 
body called her. In May the apple trees 
sent their most blossomy branches to decorate 
her dainty pink-and-whiteness with their 
own. White waterlilies, nodding and wink- 
ing to the morning sun from the bosom of 
Sodus Bay and Lake Ontario, pulled up 
their long stems, swam ashore, and auto- 
mobiled to Clifton to lay their virginal sweet- 
ness beside hers; they the golden-hearted 
children of the sun in her sunless chamber. 
In October the most brilliant autumn leaves 
covered her white counterpane with gorge- 
ous colors. At Halloween big yellow pump- 
kins sat at the foot of her bed and made Jack- 
o-Lantern faces at her in the dark. All 
kinds of diversions came to beguile the 
tedium of invalidism. On the bed where 

35 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

sometimes she writhed in torture silly Billi- 
kins grinned inanely, Teddy Bears sat on 
their haunches, dolls disported, tiny chicks a 
few hours old and new ducklings from her 
Peabody Duck-pond in West Park, funny 
little bunches of fuzz, cheep-cheeped and 
quack-quacked and tumbled about her pil- 
lows and shoulders and neck, kittens and 
puppies played and live babies crept over her 
couch and cuddled down in her arms. The 
little Italian boy who danced for the guests 
in the foyer went up to her room to dance 
and sing for her. Visitors of many kinds 
who knew about her knocked at her door: 
dainty little women from China and Japan, 
and swart Hindu girls with glittering eyes 
and blacker-than-inky hair; not a few of 
what a little girl called "bignitaries" — such 
as bishops and judges and senators and 
authors and millionaires. A Supreme Court 
judge on his way across the State to hold 
court stops off at Clifton to sit at her bedside 
to pay court to her. Travelers bound for the 
Far East and the other side of the globe 
break their journey to hold her thin hands 

36 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

and talk with her an hour. A venerable 
bishop waiting between official engagements 
rests a week at Clifton Springs partly be- 
cause of the wonderful girl of whom he has 
heard. All exercises in the sanitarium chapel 
— sermons, lectures, hymns, concerts, morn- 
ing prayers, song services — went up the 
acousticon wire to lay themselves on her pil- 
low close to her keen ear. 

VIII 

"Hilarity Hall" was the name given her 
room by one observer, who discovered that 
it wajs at times a place of merriment and glee. 
"Immortal hilarity, the Rose of Joy," is 
Emerson's phrase, though he was never 
hilarious. Sterne wrote to William Pitt, "I 
live in constant endeavor to fence against ill- 
health and other evils of life by mirth, being 
persuaded that every time a man smiles, and 
much more so when he laughs, something is 
thereby added to this Fragment of Life." 
"She was the j oiliest girl, and nobody else 
ever could be so patient and sweet," said 
the window-cleaner and vacuum sweeper, 

37 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

who pushed Ida's bed about with her on it 
to sweep. There were frolics and pillow- 
fights with such endearing epithets as "Imp- 
o-darkness" and "You scamp" hurtling 
through the air, and little screams and mice- 
like squeals, when a certain much loved girl- 
friend, whom she called Black-and- White 
Warbler and who used to go birding at 
Rocky Run and over the beautiful Clifton 
Springs countryside, came to have a happy 
school-girl romp with her sick chum. It is 
impossible to imagine two such easy laughers 
as she and Bishop Warren being together 
in her room for an hour without mixing some 
happy laughter with their talk and prayers, 
his mellow and sonorous like the vox humana 
stop in a church organ; hers like the gurgle 
of a rill or the thrush's liquid note. "True 
laughter," says some one, "has at the bottom 
of it an element of faith and something also 
of love." The right kind of laugh at the 
right moment is a divine intervention and 
may save a mind from madness or a soul 
from sin. But laughter in the chamber of 
suffering? Yes, surely! Why not? J. M. 

38 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Barrie says, "The highest form of laughter 
is that which is born of tragedy." Paul 
Laurence Dunbar wrote, "A moan is a fine 
foil for a laugh." The truth of that was 
often felt in her room when sweet laughter 
rippled from lips that were moaning an hour 
before. John Bunny, whose name fitly 
rhymes with funny and whose profession was 
to make thousands laugh and cry, said, "The 
good of tears is to increase our delight in 
laughter." A laugh is often the token of a 
triumph over tears. And Minnesota's Falls 
of Minnehaha, laughing down the rocks ten 
thousand years, make less music in the ears 
of the angels than one victorious laugh twit- 
tering on a brave sufferer's lips. Often- 
times the best thing you can do for one in 
distress is to make him laugh. A young girl 
thought her self to be dying and made her fam- 
ily think so. The doctor could not be found. 
Her pastor came, sat by her a few minutes 
and decided she wasn't and wouldn't. 
His task was to dispel the panic. First 
he offered a simple prayer, through which 
ran the expectation that the momentary ill- 

39 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

ness would soon pass safely by. Then he 
chatted gently and naturally for a while till 
the tension of that frightened young face re- 
laxed ; and presently said to the child, whose 
physical characteristic was extreme thinness : 
"I'll come and see you again in a day or two. 
You'll be all right soon. And if you take 
proper nourishment, you may be the fat 
woman in the dime museum some day" — 
a remark so unlike its author and so unsuited 
to her supposed condition as to bring a look 
of astonishment if not of indignation as it 
was intended to do ; but in a moment a smile 
overspread that was like a silent laugh, and 
the panic was gone. He sat right still. Clos- 
ing her eyes, she fell softly asleep. That 
was thirty years ago, and the family still say 
the minister saved her life that day. One 
day a friend going to Dr. Gracey's bedside 
found him in doleful dumps. "How are you 
this morning?" "O, miserable, miserable. I 
want to go home." "Can't you say, 'All 
the days of my appointed time will I wait till 
my change come'?" "No, I can't. I want 
to go." It was necessary to break that un- 

40 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

happy mood. The friend, after vain efforts 
to divert him, when the sick man fell to wail- 
ing again "I want to go home," suddenly 
feigned sternness and startled the patient by 
asking abruptly in a loud sharp voice, "Have 
you dared to tell the Lord that?" "Yes, 
many a time." "What did he say to you?" 
A moment's silence, during which Dr. 
Gracey's sense of the ridiculous was coming 
to his rescue, and then an explosive burst of 
laughter as he shouted through his tears, 
"He told me to mind my own business." The 
misery was gone. His ship was out of the 
doldrums on a shining sea, with a good 
breeze swelling its sails. "I'm thankful I 
haven't forgotten how to laugh," said the 
venerable servant of Christ. 

No friend of Ida Gracey's can read, with- 
out thinking of her, De Quincey's words 
about Goldsmith, "He had a constitutional 
gaiety of heart which could not be bought 
with Ormus or with Ind, nor hired even for 
a day with the Peacock Throne of Delhi"; 
nor the similar words of Sante Beuve about 
Cowper, "What a bright nature, eager and 

41 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

open to all impressions, full of fun and 
charm. At times his mirth is something like 
a squirrel. But the serious side quickly re- 
appears, for this lovable being has a side that 
has been smitten by a thunderbolt." Some- 
times our Clifton sanitarium sufferer was in 
a rippling mood, and all asparkle. When 
a noted purveyor of pure foods sent up fifty 
dollars to her room for her humane enter- 
prise in China, her wit flashed instantly, 
"Why not fifty-seven to match his varieties ?" 
Later, this strong rich man, expressing a 
wish to see her, was admitted to her room. 
When the interview was over, the nurses saw 
him as he came along the corridor wiping 
his eyes, wet with the kind of tears that 
cleanse and freshen and recreate. 

IX 

A sick-room and a Health Resort, both in 
one, seems an improbability; yet here it was. 
A "sure enough 9 ' sick-room it certainly was 
— shades drawn to keep light from eyes that 
could not bear it; on the bed an emaciated 
sufferer, whose agonies were sometimes 

42 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

phenomenal, spectacular, paroxysmal, twist- 
ing and flinging the fragile form to and fro ; 
an operating room for dentist, oculist, and 
surgeon ; splints and bandages for dislocated 
patella; neck and face frequently bound up 
with antiphlogiston ; odors of ointments, 
medicines, liniments. A new medical super- 
intendent who had not yet seen this particu- 
lar patient, passing along the hall, heard 
moans issuing from her room, and went in to 
relieve her. When he came out a half -hour 
later he said, "I never saw greater suffering 
or greater bravery." Undeniably a sick- 
room it was, scene of drastic experiences, and 
as unfavorable a place for attempting to 
establish one of Mother Mary Baker Glover 
Eddy's rose-misty Metaphysical Societies as 
was a certain Ohio home in which this was 
the situation — the husband and father, a 
physician, creeping slowly up from almost- 
fatal pneumonia; two children in scarlet 
fever, one of them with diphtheritic symp- 
toms ; an aged aunt dying of senile diseases ; 
the maid in bed with quinzy sore throat. To 
the wife and mother in that situation there 

43 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

came from an old school-friend who had 
fallen victim to rose-misty metaphysics and 
the hypnotic spell of meaningless words, a 
letter which said, "I make haste to send you 
the glad tidings; there is no such thing as 
disease." A sick-room unquestionably was 
Ida's Gracey's; but a Health Resort? How 
could that be? Well, not a few testified that 
they found it to be so. A visit to her room 
was recommended by physicians, because of 
the altitude and the tonic atmosphere, as are 
Colorado and Asheville. Not weakening but 
bracing was the air of that room. All of her 
except her body, which was a very small part 
of her, was contagiously healthy. Diseased 
from head to feet, she was entirely healthy- 
minded. She was as good for a weak heart as 
a Nauheim bath. After inhaling her a while, 
people came away refreshed, stimulated and 
invigorated, ready to take up life with 
new zest and more courage. Her room was 
a kind of sanitarium in sanitario, as she was 
an example of sana mens in insano corpore. 
She was an antidote to what the captain of 
an ocean liner called "the mollygrubs." She 

44 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

indulged in neither drugs nor delusions, a 
hard-headed, common-sense little realist, 
temperamentally unfit for membership in 
the Imagination Club. She often deplored 
her lack of imagination. She had great 
visions, but was no visionary. 

X 

This darkened room was a Business Office, 
transacting practical affairs. She did her 
own banking and bookkeeping neatly and ac- 
curately, paying her weekly sanitarium bills 
with checks drawn by her own hand, and 
this up to four days before her death. That 
wan, wasted remnant of a girl — "a scrap" 
she called herself — helpless in bed, unable to 
stand on her feet, was a "going concern," 
active and solvent, doing business twelve 
thousand miles away, dealing in real estate 
in China, drawing her check for $1,000 to 
buy a lot in Kiukiang, and negotiating a 
building enterprise on the south bank of the 
Yangtze-Kiang River. She kept in touch 
with the wide world. Her room was virtu- 
ally a post office substation, with piles of let- 

45 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

ters under her pillow and something resem- 
bling a mailbag hanging over the head of her 
bed; correspondence arriving from and de- 
parting to the ends of the earth. That room 
was like a bureau of information; like an 
office of the Associated Press, the chief press 
agent in residence being her sister, an eager 
and expert newsgatherer, with a keen scent 
for the very latest. It was called a wireless 
telegraph station. " Where do you hide your 
wireless apparatus? Is it under the bed, or 
out on the window-sill?" asked a visitor spy- 
ing to discover her secret means of communi- 
cation. The very latest news from San 
Francisco or Mexico x>r California, India or 
China was often in that room, sometimes be- 
fore the missionary headquarters in New 
York had it. To some extent it was a 
branch office of the Woman's Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society, initiating enterprises, devis- 
ing ways and means and raising money, mix- 
ing prayers and plans, efficiency and econ- 
omy, after the fine method of that canny and 
capable society; and she herself might be 
called an auxiliary. Before disease disabled 

46 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

and shut her in, she had been three years 
Secretary for Special Gifts in the Genesee 
Conference, collecting $6,000 each year from 
individual contributors, forwarding gifts to 
destination, writing to and receiving letters 
from each beneficiary, and making reports 
to the donors. During those years she super- 
intended sales of Oriental articles in various 
cities for the benefit of the society's work. 
For many weeks this angel of mercy on her 
crutches fluttered up and down the long, 
steep stairs of the elevated railroad in New 
York while conducting such a sale in the 
Metropolitan Life Building. For her serv- 
ices and her character she was the pet and 
darling of the Woman's Foreign Missionary 
Society; and from year to year the great 
women of the New York Branch would not 
adjourn their annual convention, no matter 
in what city it met, without ordering a tele- 
gram of love and admiration and sympathy 
to their brave helper at Clifton Springs. A 
compact little business woman she was, 
though all her joints were loosed. Business 
men, personal friends who came from vari- 

47 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

ous cities to pay honor to her, were pall- 
bearers at her funeral. 

Most invalids do their suffering in seclu- 
sion, out of sight and unreported. Sidney 
Lanier and Robert Louis Stevenson and 
William E. Henley were invalids whose 
prominence in the world of letters brought 
their sufferings to publicity, and whose 
dogged fights with virulent disease made 
them a spectacle to mankind. But the little 
invalid at Clifton Springs would have made 
as good a showing in the limelight as they, 
though she wrote only one poem in her life. 
And those three strong men, had they known 
her, would have recognized her and given her 
the grip as belonging to their lodge and of 
the thirty-third degree in the masonry of 
suffering which has secrets all its own, un- 
shared by the healthy, comfortable herd, in- 
communicable to the uninitiated. 

If she and Lanier had met in the years of 
his hard endurance-test, one can easily 
imagine them exchanging friendly greetings. 
Perhaps he, the master musician, with fail- 
ing fingers and broken breath, might have 

48 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

blown her some exquisite strains from his 
orchestra flute, and she, the artless girl, just 
to reciprocate in kind, might have made 
childlike return by strumming "Old Ken- 
tucky Home" or "Way Down on De Swanee 
Ribber" on her dear old banjo for him. 
Then at parting, he might have repeated to 
her, in the fellowship of their common faith, 
words which he wrote elsewhere: "Let us 
thank God, Little Sister, that in our knowl- 
edge of him we have a steadfast firmament 
of blue in which all clouds will soon dissolve." 
Most published and popular of invalids 
in our time is Louis Stevenson, largely be- 
cause his own pen put in print his long fight 
for life. One of his reports runs thus: "For 
fourteen years, I have not had a day's real 
health. I have written in bed and out of bed, 
written in hemorrhage, written torn by 
coughing, written when my head swam for 
weakness, and thus far it seems to me I have 
won. Sick or well, I have had a splendid 
time of it. I was made for a contest, and 
the Powers have so willed that my battle- 
field should be this dingy inglorious one of 

49 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

the sick-bed and the medicine-bottle. I 
would have preferred a place of trumpetings 
and the open air over my head, but I have 
not failed." Here is another of his bulletins : 
"The inherent tragedy of life goes on work- 
ing itself out from black to blacker and we 
poor creatures of a day look ruefully on. 
Does it shake my cast-iron faith? I cannot 
say that it does. I believe in an ultimate 
decency of things. If you believe in God, 
where is there any room for terror? If you 
are sure that God in the long run means 
kindness to you, you should be happy. Go 
on and fail, and go on again; be mauled to 
the earth and arise again, try to rest at night 
with, for pillow, the half of a broken hope 
that somewhere the rough shall be made 
smooth, some time the balance be evened." 
Here is what he wrote, when sick and penni- 
less, to his friend William Archer: "To me 
the medicine-bottles on my chimney and the 
blood on my handkerchief are accidents. 
They do not color my view of life. They 
do not exist in my prospect. I see a uni- 
verse, a solemn, a terrible, but a very joyous 

50 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

and noble universe, where suffering is at least 
not wantonly inflicted, but where it may be 
and generally is nobly borne, where above all 
any brave man may make out a life which 
shall be happy for himself and so beneficent 
to those about him." We see Stevenson, a 
"knight-militant against gaunt pain," near- 
ing the end, fevered and trembling, little left 
of him save skin and bones, leaning breath- 
less against death's doorpost, still fighting 
with spirit undaunted; a gallant figure, yet 
not one whit more so than the little heroine 
of Clifton Springs, Those prayers which 
Stevenson wrote for himself and his Samoan 
household in his last years were answered in 
her — prayers treasured now by devout souls 
throughout the English-speaking world. 
She came up from many a long hard night 
"eager to be happy and to shed sunshine 
round her if the day gave her half a chance, 
ready to endure with patience if the day 
proved severe." Friends saw her through 
the years "working at her great task of hap- 
piness for others' sake," and when she could 
no longer move among her kind even on 

51 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

crutches, she often showed, despite her weary 
nights, "a glorious morning face." Finding 
her so one day, her face, after hours of pain 
and tears, making one think of a dripping 
landscape sunlit after showers, a friend said 
to her, "How can you be so bright and dear 
and beautiful, when you suffer so?" "The 
attack only lasted two hours this time," she 
answered, patiently and cheerily. "Only 
two hours" of torture! Louis Stevenson, 
had he known her, would have owned her as 
his peer in fortitude, and might have called 
her with tender admiration "Little sister." 

Pathologically W. E. Henley's case is 
nearer her own than either Lanier's or 
Stevenson's, since his disease was identical 
with her own, a disease of the joints; and al- 
though amputation was not performed upon 
her as it was upon Henley, because her con- 
dition made it unsafe, yet she sometimes 
begged that it might be. No one could help 
pitying Henley with "his leonine head and 
splendid torso and those terrible twisted 
limbs"; and Louis Stevenson recorded his 
admiration for what he called Henley's 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

"maimed strength and masterfulness under 
acute and crippling pain." Henley, in his 
most famous poem, describes his attitude to- 
ward life. In it he poses as model for a 
statue of Defiance. Out of the night that 
covers him, black as the pit from pole to pole, 
writhing in the fell clutch of circumstance 
under the bludgeonings of chance in a place 
of wrath and tears, he boasts that his head, 
though bloodied, is unbowed; he defies the 
punishments of Fate and the menace of the 
years. Now, all men must glory in the 
valiant will of the unconquerable soul. We 
feel a shiver of admiration when Henley's 
friends tell us how he sat up in bed in the 
hospital just after the amputation of his leg, 
talking as pleasantly as if at ease in a palace ; 
and how, though his whole life had been a 
fight against disastrous odds, he stood at last 
unbeaten on the heights of literary achieve- 
ment, whither the crippled and hindered man 
had climbed by dint of unrelenting toil. It 
should be impossible for any one, looking 
upon Henley's sufferings, to offer anything 
but sympathy. We have no patience with 

53 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

those of his literary friends who criticized 
his poem of defiance as melodramatic, one of 
them lightly remarking, "Pistol redivivus," 
and another responding, "Yes, Pistol's 
Swan-song"; "Pistol" being one of Fal- 
staff 's men given to spouting fragments of 
tragic verse and talking large in "the 
Hercules vein." For comfortable, healthy 
persons to stand over an incurable sufferer 
and chide or ridicule him would be despic- 
able and damnable. Yet a fellow sufferer 
like Ida Gracey might properly question 
from her similar plight with a sufferer like 
Henley, whether the attitude of desperate 
or haughty defiance is the wisest and most 
becoming for such as they. If her invalid's- 
chair could have been rolled to the side of his 
cot in the old Edinburgh Infirmary when he 
was at his worst, that delicate pale slip of a 
girl might have had a right to say gently to 
the shaggy, broad-shouldered, square- jawed 
Poet of Defiance: "Big Brother, I am your 
Little Sister. Why grit your teeth so hard? 
Is not submission finer than defiance, and 
reverence than resentment? Is there not 

54 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

more comfort as well as more dignity in 
prayer than in stony stoicism?" That, or 
something like it, this Christian girl might 
have wished to say and have been warranted 
in saying to William E. Henley. And wis- 
dom and dignity would have been with her 
rather than with him. A small boy whose 
little brother had died went out in the back- 
yard and threw stones at the sky to show his 
resentment against God ; a childish act which 
might be pardoned to a little boy. Kipling's 
Private Ortheris went raving mad just 
after he "swore quietly into the blue sky." 
It was a crazy act. Resignation of the right 
sort is nobler than bitter resentment. One 
of Louis Stevenson's characters, having 
heard talk of "a bed of pain which was a 
bed of resignation" plays upon the double 
meaning of the word "bed," and purposely 
confusing a bed of suffering with a garden 
bed, says to the Scotch gardener with preg- 
nant ambiguity : "John, do you see that bed 
of resignation?" "Yes, and it's doin' 
bravely, sir." "John, I will not have it in 
my garden. Out with it, and in place of 

55 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Resignation put Laughter and a bush of 
Flowering Piety — but make sure it is the 
flowering sort, John: the other species is no 
ornament to any garden." Laughter and 
Piety of the flowering and fragrant sort 
bloomed in Ida Gracey's bed as in a garden. 
Her cheerful faith was this : 

"God never does, nor suffers to be done, 
But that which we would do, if we could see 
The end of all events as well as He." 

Looking forward to increasing suffering, she 
said: "I will dare to trust my heavenly 
Father. I trust his word, 'My presence shall 
go with thee, and I will give thee rest.' 
When suffering comes he will be there, and 
some time he will give me rest — rest forever/' 
She indulged in no such miserable interroga- 
tory as "What can it avail to tell the naked 
stars the grief of man?" Rather she held, 
"There is a Pity sitting in the heavens that 
looks into the bottom of our grief." In that 
Pity she sweetly trusted; in the divine love 
and wisdom she rested, holding that "A lov- 
ing worm within its clod were diviner than 

56 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

a loveless God amid his worlds." Once, when 
severe suffering had been continuous for a 
week, a friend said, "I am praying that you 
may have relief from pain." Instantly her 
eyes looked up at her mother's picture on the 
wall as if calling her to witness the truth of 
what she was saying, as she said calmly, de- 
liberately: "I've not asked to have anything 
taken away. The cup that the Father giveth 
me, shall I not drink it?" She had more and 
better reason than Henley to thank God for 
her "unconquerable soul." Although she 
said some weeks before the end, "My spirit 
is gone, I am worn out, I cannot keep up 
the fight," as Andrea del Sarto cried, "All 
the play and the stretch are out of me, out 
of me," yet the spirit and fire were not gone, 
they flashed up many times. Very early in 
the morning of a friend's birthday, only 
forty-eight hours before actual dying began, 
feeling a momentary flicker of strength from 
a brief sleep, she called, suddenly: "Raise 
me quick. Give me pen and card. Perhaps 
I can write." With a spirited flash of the 
will, her trembling fingers wrote this birth- 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

day message, signing it with the name which 
had been given her: 

" 'May the years that lie before thee 
Be o'ershadowed by God's wing: 
May his presence lend a beauty 
And a joy to everything.' 

Is the birthday wish of Kindehen." 

There flared up her loyalty to her friends. 
To the very last that undying spirit showed 
no sign of dying. All the play was never out 
of her. To the end she was made of "spirit, 
fire, and dew." 

George Meredith spoke of "the thrill of 
the worship of valiancy." That thrill a cer- 
tain boy, deep in his books, felt in reading of 
Shakespeare's young soldier Claudio, who 
"in the figure of a lamb did the feats of a 
lion" ; felt it over the Ballad of Chevy Chase 
and the verse, 

"For Witherington I needs must wail 
As one in doleful dumps; 
For when his legs were battered off 
He fought upon the stumps": 

felt it over the old battle-ballad in which Sir 

58 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Andrew Barton, when he was pierced, said, 
quietly, 

"I'll but lie down and bleed awhile 
And then I'll rise and fight again": 

felt it in later years over William Vaughan 
Moody's wounded knight who, though facing 
dire defeat, yet "blew his battle-horn across 
the vales of overthrow," and upon a dark 
disastrous morn made the echoes ring with 
rallying and laughter; and felt it still later 
over the story of Charley Edwards, of Texas, 
one of the "characters" who made Washing- 
ton picturesque with his broad black som- 
brero, flowing mane, and far-sweeping 
moustache, and such a voice that when he 
whispered to the man sitting next him an 
attendant of the House came down the aisle 
and said, "Shouting not allowed in the gal- 
lery." When a fatal and frightful malady 
struck him down, Charley faced it with a 
smile and through five years of agony daunt- 
lessly died daily, punctuating the long grim 
months with laughter, and going to the Dark 
Tower like Childe Roland. Did we not all 

59 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

feel Meredith's "thrill of the worship of vali- 
ancy" over that gallant young French officer 
who rode away on an errand so deadly- 
dangerous that Marshal Joffre could not 
help kissing the beautiful boy good-by, as he 
sent him off to his rendezvous with Death? 

Valiancy is not monopolized by soldiers. 
A crutch may be as fit an emblem of valor 
as a sword. Glaze, the African explorer, 
was not a soldier, but H. M. Stanley wrote 
of him, "He relished a task in proportion to 
its hardness, and welcomed danger with a 
fierce joy." Browning, in The Grammar- 
ian's Funeral, as William Lyon Phelps 
points out, makes of a plodding pedant ex- 
actly the same kind of hero as a dashing 
cavalry officer leading a forlorn hope; and 
that pedant's example has inspired many 
kinds of men to stick tight to their task, even 
the man now writing. The first Valor Medal 
conferred by the National Arts Club is not 
given to a man in uniform, but to Elihu 
Root, a patriot who never smelled the smoke 
of battle. Tennyson's story of the siege of 
Lucknow, after singing of Havelock and his 

60 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Highlanders, sings also of the "valor of deli- 
cate women/' and praises their fortitude in 
the hardships and terror of the assault for 
eighty-seven days, while "ever upon the top- 
most towers the old banner of England 
blew." Those British women were scarcely 
more valorous than Ida Gracey, enduring 
through many years a siege far more relent- 
less, with capitulation inevitable at the end 
after much suffering, while ever above her 
beleaguered citadel she kept the flag of her 
courage afloat. F. W. H. Myers, speaking 
of his friend Henry Sidgwick's gallant and 
valiant nature, said: "To those hidden 
fervors few occasions for outward heroism 
have been vouchsafed in his quiet, peaceful 
life. He had to be content with inward exal- 
tations of spirit, unnoticed sacrifices, and the 
secret habit of chivalric honor. Yet at length 
came to him that last opportunity for val- 
iancy in facing the supreme grim advance of 
sure, slow-creeping death." Ida Gracey en- 
dured that test for years. When you read of 
England's great soldier Lord Wolseley, "In 
that slight shattered body dwelt an invincible 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

force, a happy temperament, and a power 
of endurance no trial ever shook nor any 
stress of circumstances impaired," you may 
notice that the description fits our fragile 
little heroine almost as well as it fits the 
famous Field Marshal. So far as we know 
she spoke of herself as a soldier only once, 
and that was near the end to her friend Mrs. 
J. M. Cornell — "I'm a homesick soldier." 
But she did even better than some soldiers, 
as, for example, Colonel Francis Younghus- 
band, the fine British officer who led the 
"Mission to Lhassa," beyond the Himalayas 
to the capital of Tibet. Seasoned and hardy 
soldier though he was, his fortitude broke 
under suffering when, having been run over 
by a motor car, he lay broken and helpless 
half-a-year on a bed of pain. His courage 
oozed away, and through the long hard 
months his faith let go; he concluded in his 
weakness that the presence of pain in the 
world rules out belief in any wise and bene- 
ficent Ruler. He could conduct hard cam- 
paigns and fight battles, but could not en- 
dure such tests as Ida Gracey bore for years. 

62 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

And she did better thinking even in the fiery 
furnace than Benjamin Jowett, the famous 
Greek professor, and other comfortable 
closet-thinkers did in the peaceful shades of 
Oxford. They lost courage, faith in life, 
and in the value of existence, as did also Ox- 
ford University for a time in Jowett's day. 
This she never did; she reached that chas- 
tened and purified love of life which is the 
noblest result of suffering and the supreme 
attainment of wisdom. That much-com- 
memorated tragic girl, Rahel Varnhagen, 
tells us that, although, in all her afflictions, 
she never was at variance with existence and 
always refused to regard pain as the ultimate 
purpose of life, yet, when harsh treatment 
from a cruel father was added to painful ill- 
ness, she "lost the courage to be happy." 
Ida Gracey never lost the courage to be 
happy, partly, perhaps, because she never 
knew harshness or lack of love. Affection 
was lavished on her all her days. In her 
home she was the center of solicitude and 
tenderness and sweet ministering ; and as for 
friends, one said to her one day: "You were 

63 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

made to be loved and a lot of people were 
evidently made to love you. I think you 
must belong to the royal family." When 
she asked, "Why?" the reply was, "Because 
you have such a big retinue"; and the next 
day she received roses with this card: "To 
her little Majesty, from a member of her 
large retinue." 

Dr. Richard C. Cabot speaks of "a shiver 
of admiration" which persons of sensibility 
experience in contact with fine characters or 
in witnessing difficult feats well done. E. 
V. Lucas confesses to feeling a quiver of 
ecstasy over Paul Cinque valli, juggler and 
acrobat, whenever he saw him doing un- 
paralleled feats with almost miraculous 
dexterity and ease, suppleness and grace, 
until Lucas would exclaim with tears of joy, 
"You Beauty! O, you Beauty!" while an- 
other observer said, "Cinquevalli always 
makes me cry." But suppose the juggler 
had had to keep tossing hot iron balls, that 
burnt him every time they came down, up 
in the air for hours — what would Lucas say 
then? And would the other man shed 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

scalding tears? The audience at the Gilder 
Memorial meeting in Carnegie Hall felt a 
shiver of admiration and a quiver of ecstasy 
when Forbes Robertson read in his match- 
less way Gilder's poem, "Music in Dark- 
ness," the deep, vibrant masculine voice ren- 
dering with perfect elocution and exquisite 
modulation the lines so perfectly suited to 
the psychological moment — a golden voice 
filling the house with rich melody — the whole 
performance being by every token high on 
the list of perfect things, making one man 
whisper to his seatmate, "Simply perfect!" 
"You seem to think I'm perfect, just as 
papa did," Ida said to a friend who after 
her father's death was trying to cheer her in 
the fierce endurance-tests of her last tor- 
tured weeks, "Yes, dear child, I do think 
you are about perfect," was the reply. 

Beware of superlatives and italics is a 
good-enough caution. But is there nothing 
superlative in life? Why is the word "per- 
fect" in the dictionary unless there is use for 
it on some corresponding reality? Now and 
then that risky word may be applied without 

65 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

fear of arrest or molestation. Jane Austen 
feared she had made the heroine in one 
of her novels too good, and wrote a friend 
about it, saying: "Pictures of perfection, as 
you know, made me sick and wicked." Ex- 
cessive eulogy is nauseating. But did the 
author of Sense and Sensibility and Pride 
and Prejudice never find any touch of per- 
fection in human character and achievement? 
Some have even thought they saw something 
perfect in her works. What put the note of 
joy and calm into Wordsworth was his 
recognition of the fact that human life is 
bosomed in the life of an eternal Spirit of 
Perfection. The Master's command "Be ye 
perfect" is guarantee that we may be perfect 
in something, possibly in love, which is abso- 
lutely the greatest thing in this world or any 
other. The joy we have in glimpses of per- 
fection is a lure to aspiration and a bribe to 
all our strivings. For the Christian as for 
the artist, orator, musician, or writer per- 
fection must be the aim. To Ida Gracey's 
friends it seemed that in character and con- 
duct she approached perfection. 

66 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

The Lady of the Decoration, who knows a 
good fighter when she sees one, being one 
herself, felt Dr. Cabot's shiver of admiration 
when on Saint Valentine's Day she sent to 
Ida Gracey (whose distinction was in being 
a decoration rather than wearing one) a 
token of affection with this inscription, "To 
a bully fightin' Valentine, whose brave ex- 
ample will brace me for many a gray day of 
strife." We have heard of a cowboy who 
had he known our brave little heroine and 
overheard this greeting, might have shouted, 
"Right you are, Mrs. Macaulay, 'Bully 
fighter' is the word": the cowboy who gal- 
loped gaily into town firing his revolver 
into the air, filled with the frolic gladness 
of his own high spirits if with nothing more 
intoxicating, and who, after making the cir- 
cuit of the settlement, rode up to a conven- 
ient board fence, and, standing up in his 
stirrups, shot into it this sentiment: "Life 
ain't in holdin' a good hand, but in playin' 
a pore hand well." He didn't learn his spell- 
ing in school nor his figure of speech in Sun- 
day school, but his doctrine was "dead right," 

67 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

and his bullet-in on the board fence indicates 
that he would have shouted for a glorious 
sick girl who all her life "plaid a pore hand 
well." 

William Winter wrote, "All human life 
has for its ultimate object a spiritual vic- 
tory." Aspiration toward that victory is 
evidence of normality. Ida Gracey was 
normal in every part except her sick body. 
Once in the semitwilight of her shaded room 
in her last year she was seen radiant with 
gladness, sitting bolt upright in bed, a 
slender, dainty figure, erect, elate, with 
translucent face and burning eyes — like a 
white wax-candle topped with flame, such as 
is seen in a golden candlestick upon an altar 
— telling exultantly of the almost assured 
success of her plans for the Cripples' Home 
at Kiukiang, about which she had prayed 
fourteen years. The radiance of her counte- 
nance made her friend decide then and there 
to dedicate to her his book, The Illumined 
Face; "To one who through years of suffer- 
ing bears an illumined face." So trium- 
phant was she that the friend said, "I would 

68 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

name you Victoria if I had not already called 
you something else." "That would be some- 
thing to live up to," answered the spirited 
girl, who, in very truth, was always "living 
up to" something above her — up to the ad- 
monitions of her mother's pictured face look- 
ing down from the wall above the bed, with 
whom her eyes often seemed communing and 
consulting — up to Christian standards of 
character and life — climbing toward "those 
high table-lands to which the Lord, our God, 
is moon and sun." 

Here for a moment we pause and turn 
aside, to ask whether, in always living up, she 
was not a normal part of the natural uni- 
verse, in every layer and level of which we 
see finger-boards pointing upward and hints 
of what looks like aspiration — up from in- 
organic to organic, from mineral to vegetable 
and animal and human and beyond. Mys- 
terious and suggestive is that dreaming of 
something higher ; that semblance to aspira- 
tion of which we catch faint momentary 
glimpses along the cosmic trend in certain 
strange and curious movements of elements 

69 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

and creatures, one range of things seeming 
to glance wistfully toward the next above. 
Deep in the rock's dark bosom the shapeless 
minerals are taking on fronded shapes, as if 
dreaming of leaves and aspiring to enter the 
vegetable realm. On the winter window- 
pane the frost is sketching ferns and thickets 
with exquisite artistry, as if dreaming of the 
next realm above and aspiring to it. In the 
boggy acre the pitcher-plant is rehearsing 
rudimentally the process of digestion by 
feeding on insects it captures in its trap, ap- 
parently striving to enter a higher order, the 
order of carnivora. Parrots and magpies 
are trying to talk like humans, as if aspiring. 
From crustacean to man is a far cry, yet 
that queer little creature, the Faira crab, of 
Japan, seems to see across the gulf, for he 
makes a mimicking face at man and wears 
a frontispiece startlingly, ridiculously, be- 
wilderingly human, as if aspiring. The 
monkeys in the jungle seem aspiring to be- 
come by slow stages anthropoidal. And the 
scientist exhibits a picture of Mr. Pithecan- 
thropus sauntering up the slopes of the ages 

70 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

to apply for his naturalization papers in the 
State of Manhood. Infinite effrontery! 
But it seems to be customary in this universe. 
And this upward look and urge which we 
notice and which science declares, from pro- 
toplasm up to personality, from mineral to 
man, does not stop on the natural human 
level. The scientist is the one person who 
can least consistently hesitate to believe in a 
higher development for the natural man into 
spiritual realms. Why should man be the 
first "quitter" in the ascent, the first to halt 
the progress of the universe when the finger- 
boards along the cosmic trend still point up- 
ward? And why is it not as natural to find 
the supernatural above the natural, spiritual 
above carnal, as to find animal above vege- 
table and vegetable above mineral? Science 
is logically bound to insist that for the hu- 
man being born into man's estate "The 
Climb to God" is naturally the next thing 
in order. In the light of all that science and 
religion teach, whoever is not "living up" to 
higher and better things is an abortion or a 
degenerate, or a case of arrested develop- 

71 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

merit, a kind of monstrosity in nature. When 
children and grandchildren of slaves stand 
in a Christian church and roll the anthem 
over and over in the abysmal depths of their 
bass and contralto and on the far heights of 
their treble and tenor: "Beloved, now are we 
the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear 
what we shall be: but we know that, when 
he shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we 
shall see him as he is," those aspiring black 
people have nothing less, but something 
more, than cosmic warrant for their aspira- 
tion and their exultant certitude. William 
Winter and Ida Gracey, aspiring to "spirit- 
ual victory" as the supreme object for a soul 
to "live up to," were loyal to the System of 
Things and obedient to the voice which calls 
down through the universe, "Come up 
higher." 

At her bedside one would be impressed 
with the solitariness of intense physical suf- 
fering, the isolation being indicated some- 
times by a look of withdrawal and remote- 
ness, such as was noted in Louis Stevenson 
by Mrs. Wyatt Eaton, who was on the 

72 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Jersey coast at Point Pleasant on the Man- 
asquan, one memorable summer afternoon in 
1887, when the Sanborn Cottage entertained 
Stevenson, who was visiting at Brielle across 
the bay. She describes him as tall and 
emaciated, frail and ethereal-looking; but 
gay, blithe, boyish, and contagious. Rejoic- 
ing in having seen the author of Treasure 
Island and The Merry Men at his best, sur- 
rounded by his friends and with the light 
of his best emotions on his face — lit with the 
glow, the verve, the vital spark — this woman 
writes: "Even in his playful mood, respond- 
ing to the banter and merriment around him, 
a look now and then would creep into his 
eyes, like a beatitude; a look that gave me 
the feeling that he was already beyond our 
mortal ken." That "look like a beatitude," 
which gave us the feeling that she was in a 
world beyond our ken, came at times into 
Ida Gracey's face, a strange look of remote- 
ness, as of a soul withdrawing to some far 
height, a look, too, of ineffable dignity, which 
made one almost stand in awe of her and ask 
mentally, "Into what region have you risen 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

now?" To one who spoke of that look, a 
girlhood friend replies: "Yes, I know that 
look of dignity on Ida's face, but it did not 
awe me as did her withdrawal into regions 
of intense pain, leaving me with a sense of 
exclusion, as if even my love could not reach 
her and it seemed impossible for me to be 
anything to her. Such moments were the 
awfullest of all." When some one was 
praising Patti's singing to Sainte Beuve, and 
using Shakespeare's words, "Her voice is 
like the lark, which at heaven's gate sings," 
the French critic responded, "Yes, but Nils- 
son's is like a voice from the other side of the 
gate." There were times when Ida Gracey 
sounded from beyond, from a region above 
our experience and beyond our sight. Once 
when I was praying at her bedside, the feel- 
ing came over me strangely that she was 
nearer to God than I and that I would better 
stop and ask her to pray for me. 

Arthur Benson, noting the unanimity of 
the tributes paid Arthur Hallam as proving 
how he was admired by his contemporaries, 
says that nothing but the presence of an 

74 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

overmastering charm can explain such a con- 
spiracy of praise. A similar consentaneity 
concerning Ida Gracey indicates the pres- 
ence in her of a similar personal charm about 
which Benson says that it is beyond analysis 
or description, ineffable, makes no effort to 
exert its power, indeed is unconscious of it- 
self, yet fills us with desire to understand it, 
to win its favor or to serve it. That charm 
in her, sickness only served to enhance, until 
she seemed different from ordinary human- 
ity, somewhat as a pearl is different from 
a pebble. A mystery it seemed that suffer- 
ing, instead of spoiling the attractiveness 
of her face, rather refined it, made it more 
delicate and spirituelle. Years of pain did 
not take away the sweet girlishness, what 
Browning calls "the darlingness." At the 
Gracey Memorial Meeting of the Interde- 
nominational Missionary Union a vivid, 
vibrant, and responsive woman said quiver- 
ingly and yearningly: "Ida was like my own 
flesh and blood. She was ineffably beautiful 
to me. Her eyes and the tender lines about 
her mouth drew out my whole heart. I keep 

75 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

her picture on my desk." One friend of her 
father wrote him thus : "I saw your daughter 
only once and for only a few minutes. She 
seemed like a frail being from some other 
world whose wings had been caught and 
tangled in the thorns of our rough world — 
a prisoner of hope, evidently attended by the 
angels who are God's ministering spirits." 
One who spent many hours at Dr. Gracey's 
bedside in the years of his helplessness, said 
to him one day: "If she were my child, I 
should be one of two things, either as proud 
as Lucifer or so grateful to God that I could 
not find words to express myself. Now, 
which are you?" And the venerable minister 
answered tenderly, "Thankful, thankful!" 
The devoted physician to whose care her 
mother had committed her and who watched 
over her faithfully f o^ years and saw her in 
all conditions, under all circumstances, said, 
"She is an angel of light." The young 
woman who served as her last day attendant, 
says, "She sure was an angel." Soon after 
learning of her departure the pastor of a 
large church in Detroit, who had known her 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

in her father's house in Rochester, wrote: 
"Her pure and Christlike life will follow me 
as long as I live. Last Sunday morning I 
took for my Communion talk 2 Corinthians 
3. 18, and then I told the story of her life. 
I know of no one who more perfectly illus- 
trates those words of Paul than she." The 
words are these: "But we all, with open face 
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, 
are changed into the same image from glory 
to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord." 
"You little white angel," said one who saw 
her enduring acute suffering with a patient 
heroic smile. "I'm not an angel," she pro- 
tested, but her face was angelic at the 
moment she was protesting. A girl-friend 
of her early years writes: "She was a dear 
marvel — such deep affection and wide help- 
fulness, so many lovely ways and unexpected 
turns, such humanness, with none of the sub- 
dued saintlinesses that sick folk, if they are 
good as she was, are apt to drop into, but 
just a natural healthy human soul, such as 
we all love — a difficult thing to maintain in 
a sick body. Her charming innocent 

77 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

naughtinesses were the delight of my heart." 
Several months after her translation two 
men, on the Pennsylvania Limited running 
east out of Chicago, fell to talking of her. 
One of them had known her in earlier years 
flitting about on crutches at the Thousand 
Islands, and the other only her bedridden 
final years in the darkened room. Their con- 
versation about her closed with the man from 
Pittsburgh saying, "She was superman, 
something superior in human quality" ; and 
the New Yorker saying, "She was the fairest 
flower I have ever seen blooming in a cham- 
ber of suffering — and fairer in her fading 
than others in the bloom of health." 

Toward death she bore herself becomingly. 
No man can foreknow how he will feel at 
death's approach, but big Sam Johnson blub- 
bering beforehand in fear of death is scarcely 
a worthy or inspiring figure. When Robert 
Browning, sturdiest and most robust Chris- 
tian optimist among English poets, was 
growing old, the decadents, debilitated by 
pernicious anemia of the soul, who made art 
and literature resemble a counting of autumn 

78 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

leaves, were slowly approaching their tired 
triumph greatly to Browning's disgust and 
scorn, as he wrote to a friend: "Death, death, 
it is this harping on death that I despise 
so much. In fiction and poetry, French as 
well as English, and, I am told, American 
also, and in other literature and in art as 
well, the shadow of death, call it what you 
will — despair, negation, indifference — is 
upon us. But what fools who talk thus! 
Why, amico mio, you know as well as I that 
death is life, just as our daily momentary 
dying body is none the less alive, and ever 
recruiting new forces of existence. Without 
death, which is our church-yardy crape-like 
word for change, for growth, there could be 
no prolongation of that which we call life. 
Never say of me that I am dead." When 
past fourscore Browning spent much time 
in lovely country-places, and of one long 
visit wrote, "Another term of delightful 
weeks, each week tipped with a sweet starry 
Sunday at the little church." In the little 
church he was not thinking gloomily on 
death, but joyously on everlasting life. We 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

hear Stopford A. Brooke saying in his quiet 
London study, "I expect the day of my 
death to be the most romantic day of my 
life." We see George F. Watts, when his 
final days seemed only looking in on him one 
by one just to say "Good-by," tranquilly 
expecting the coming of the white-robed 
angel he had once painted as Death, saying 
calmly to his wife, "I often catch sight of 
that white figure behind my shoulder, and it 
seems to say to me, 'I am not far off.' " We 
find Lewis Carroll, nearing the end, feeling 
it would be nice to have it over with, writing 
his sister: "I sometimes think what a grand 
thing it will be to be able to say to oneself, 
'Death is over now and there is not that 
experience to be faced again.' ' We read 
in Edwin Booth's letter to an afflicted friend: 
"I cannot grieve at death. It seems to me 
the greatest boon the Almighty has granted 
us. Why do you not look at this little life 
with all its ups and downs as I do? At the 
very worst, 'tis but a scratch, a temporary 
ill, to be soon cured by that dear old doctor, 
Death, who gives us life more healthful and 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

enduring than all the physicians can give." 
George Washington has told us that when 
facing death in battle he found something 
strangely fascinating and exhilarating in the 
sound of whistling bullets that meant death. 
Charles Frohman, on the slanting deck of 
the sinking Lusitania, said to those who with 
him would all be drowned together in a few 
minutes: "Why fear death? It is life's most 
beautiful adventure." Sir James Paget, the 
eminent English surgeon, is even of opinion 
that there is often a certain physical pleasure 
in dying. All the poised composure seen in 
these calm spirits was in Ida Gracey, and 
something more. Death was an old familiar 
friend ; the two had been neighbors and com- 
rades for years. They had played tag along 
the border. She often said, "Why, I'm no 
more afraid to die than I am to put my head 
on my pillow." She dreaded intense suffer- 
ing, but she no more dreaded death than she 
dreaded her father's kiss. 

When the end drew near, and especially 
in her very last hours, she was her own sweet 
self, perfectly natural, cool, composed, fear- 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

less, glad. She calmly noticed advancing 
symptoms and understood all that the signs 
meant, and when the inhalation of oxygen 
was begun she knew it was the physician's 
viaticum, the last thing done for the dying. 
In a quiet moment of the final night she said 
to her sister: "Don't you think I've had all 
my pains and can go to heaven now? Would 
it be cowardly for me to ask to go to-night?" 
In hours when her room was an outpost of 
eternity, she was not only cool and serene 
but playful. Her sister needing to go out 
in the rain, asked, "May I take your um- 
brella?" "Why, yes": and then a flash of 
humor, "I think I can spare you my rub- 
bers too." She knew she might be in heaven 
any minute. Umbrellas and rubbers are not 
needed on the streets of the City of Gold. 
That blithe spirit, done forever with um- 
brellas and overshoes, was hovering merrily 
and unabashed on life's outer rim, and that 
gay touch of gentle play with her sister was 
like a last caress reached out to the playmate 
of all her years. 

After physicians had given Amiel his 
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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

death-warrant, he was dying by inches and 
knew it through seven long years. The fol- 
lowing record in his journal in his last weeks 
is precisely descriptive of her last weeks: "A 
terrible night. For four hours I struggled 
against suffocation and looked death in the 
face. It is clear that what awaits me is 
suffocation. I shall die by choking. I should 
not have chosen such a death, but when there 
is no option one must simply resign oneself. 
'Thy will, not mine, be done.' ' Ida's last 
suffering was like Amiel's. "It's terrible," 
she said, appealingly, as she strangled in 
agony; and then, lest she be misunderstood, 
"I don't mean to complain." 

Her last word and Bishop Mclntyre's 
were the same. In the Chicago Hospital 
Mrs. Mclntyre bent over her husband in the 
quiet lull which looks like improvement but 
precedes dissolution, and said, to cheer him, 
"We'll soon be going home, Robert." 
"Lovely!" he answered — his last word ere 
his heavenly "going home." On Ida 
Gracey's last night, her sister, bending over 
her, spoke of a small sum of money left by 

83 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

their mother and asked, "Don't you think it 
would be nice to put it into your cripples' 
fund, as mother's contribution?" (The first 
gift she received toward this had been from 
her father, and now the last while she is alive 
is from her mother. ) "Why, yes ! Lovely !" 
Then the final silence, and a little later she 
was gone. This lifelong cripple and the 
famous bishop ended on the same high note, 
the note of joy, he thinking of the return to 
the comfort of his own home, she full of the 
joy of giving a Home to poor friendless lit- 
tle cripples by the thousand in the long years 
to come. It was lovely to go home ; lovelier 
to give a home. 

Emily Dickinson wrote of her dearest: 
"There was no earthly parting. She slipped 
from our fingers like a snowflake gathered 
by the wind." Robert Browning wrote of 
his Elizabeth: "God took her to himself as 
you would lift a sleeping child from a dark 
uneasy bed into your arms and the light." 
So was it with Ida Gracey. Without shiver 
or quiver or sound she slipped away. One 
thinks of Emily Dickinson's childlike verses: 

84 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

She went; this was the way she went: 

When her task was done, 
She took up her simple wardrobe 

And started for the sun. 

Her little figure at the gate 
The angels must have spied, 

For we could never find her 
Upon thfe earthward side. 

A startling accompaniment attended her 
midnight departure. Lightnings were flash- 
ing and thunders crashing at the moment of 
her going. Jean Ingelow would say, "God 
Almighty's guns were going off and the land 
trembled." The artillery of the skies seemed 
firing a Salute to the Valiant, as if heaven 
thought fit to honor with a soldier's music 
and the roaring rites of war the passing of 
this intrepid soul, who went up past the great 
guns of the thunder unafraid. Her soul well- 
knit and all her battles won, she mounted 
surely to eternal life, more than conqueror 
through Him who loved her and gave him- 
self for her. And thus was brought to pass 
the saying which was written, "Death is 
swallowed up in victory." 

85 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Of George Meredith's face in the coffin 
it was written, "The dead lips smiling at life 
as in life they had smiled at death." Not 
so hers. A weary look was on the sweet 
marmoreal face in the pearl-gray casket, 
wearied by long and wearing pain. Stand- 
ing beside that casket and looking on the 
tired but lovely face, the minister read with 
inward surge of exultation from the book of 
Revelation the words of the great voice out 
of heaven, in this accentuating repetend 
fashion, "Behold, God shall wipe away all 
tears from their eyes; and there shall be no 
more death — and there shall be no more 
death; neither sorrow nor crying — neither 
sorrow nor crying; neither shall there be any 
more pain — neither shall there be any 
more pain." At the cemetery on the hill 
this thanksgiving rose on the still air of a 
balmy springlike February afternoon: " Al- 
mighty God, with whom the souls of the 
faithful, after they are delivered from the 
burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity, 
we give thee hearty thanks for the good ex- 
ample of this dear child of thine, who, having 

86 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

finished her course in faith, now rests with 
thee." And upon the sorrowing group was 
pronounced this benediction: "Now the God 
of peace who brought again from the dead 
our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the 
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting 
covenant, make you perfect in every good 
work to do his will, working in you that 
which is well pleasing in his sight, through 
Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory forever and 
ever. Amen." Thus, in the stately Christian 
fashion, with supernal pomp of lofty lan- 
guage, was laid away that light little body, 
a "scrap," she said, a remnant of skin and 
bones, sealed eyes and lips, and long dark 
hair; like the burial of a dead bird, or 
withered lily or crumpled leaf. The grave 
is filled and the flowers piled upon it, a red 
cross surmounted by a white crown standing 
highest. The procession winds silently down 
the slope, out the gate and back to the duties 
of life. And "thus endeth." No, not quite. 
Rather, "here beginneth." Behold, I show 
you a miracle. 

The curtain rises now on one of the most 
87 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

pregnant and meaningful tableaus ever set ; 
one of God's own romances woven of actual 
events in which all the elements are mixed to 
give the world assurance of the presence of 
a superhuman artistry that makes theater 
plays seem wooden, mechanical, clumsy, and 
infantile. 

After the burial, the monument. Her 
monument is not here, but a world's-width 
away, at Kiukiang, a walled city of 40,000, 
on the south bank of the Yangtze, situated 
between river, lakes, and hills. There is the 
oldest mission of our church in Central 
China. During fifty years an influential 
Christian community has been established 
there by the building of Rulon Fish High 
School, William Nast College for boys, Dan- 
forth Memorial Hospital for Women, 
Knowles Bible Training School for girls; 
and, now, Ida Gracey's Home for Cripples 
(attached to Dr. Mary Stone's hospital, as 
its orthopedic department), and soon Dr. 
Edward C. Perkins's Water-of-Life Hos- 
pital for Men. 

We pause to note that the Cripples' Home 
88 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

is one of the by-products of suffering, and 
came by one of God's rough main-traveled 
roads along which he often sends his cara- 
vans of relief and blessing. They who, them- 
selves, have trodden with bleeding feet the 
Via Crucis know best how to pity. Thack- 
eray wrote: "Most likely the Good Samari- 
tan was a man who had been robbed and 
beaten on life's road and knew what it was 
to lie stripped and bruised by the wayside." 
The superintendent of a large hospital re- 
ports that most of the gifts for buildings 
or endowments come from bereaved or other- 
wise afflicted people. It is said that most 
of the improvements in artificial limbs have 
been invented by the first man who lost a 
limb on the Confederate side in our Civil 
War. Out of his crippled condition benefits 
have emerged for thousands of maimed. Out 
of Senator Leland Stanford's loss of his only 
child came limitless benefit to endless genera- 
tions of boys by the building of Leland 
Stanford, Jr., University. Out of A. R. 
Crittenton's loss of a loved daughter came 
his impulse to father thousands of friendless 

89 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

girls by the establishment of Florence Crit- 
tenton Homes in near a hundred cities for 
a class most in need of true friends and least 
likely to have them. Out of George Mathe- 
son's bitterest hour of anguish comes one of 
the great hymns of the ages to comfort the 
anguish of countless souls with the "Love 
that wilt not let me go." Joyce Kilmer says, 
"Lips that have not kissed the rod breathe 
only light and perishable breath; they only 
sing who are struck dumb by God." It was 
because Miss Sullivan had suffered an at- 
tack of blindness lasting several years that 
she was moved with sympathy toward a little 
blind deaf-mute child in Tuscumbia, Ala- 
bama; whereby Helen Keller got a teacher 
who brought her out of darkness into the 
marvelous light of a wonderful life. And to- 
day, amid the horrors of the most hideous, 
atrocious, and diabolical of wars, it was in- 
evitable that blind Helen Keller's relief- 
money should go to those soldiers whose eye- 
sight has been destroyed; her gifts accom- 
panied by words like these: "From the mist 
which surrounds me — dark, endless, and im- 

90 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

measurable — I stretch my hand to those 
brave young men whose light has been put 
out by shells. I cannot rest until I have done 
all I can in order to help them from misery 
and desperation." Robertson Nicoll says, 
"In order to understand Louis Stevenson 
one needs to spit a little blood." It was be- 
cause Ida Gracey knew all her life what it 
is to be lame that her pity went out to crip- 
ples, and to China, the land that is fullest of 
cripples, so that this empty-handed girl 
cherished for fourteen years a wild dream of 
building a home and hospital for the most 
friendless of her own afflicted class. When 
finally she dared announce to her friends her 
plans, and that the practical women at the 
head of the Woman's Foreign Missionary 
Society had approved them as practicable, 
if only money enough was forthcoming, gifts 
began to come in. Wealthy women, guests 
in the sanitarium, gave some of their jewelry 
for her project. The medical superintend- 
ent brought his baby girl with a big gold 
piece clutched in its tiny fist to drop it on the 
invalid's pillow. It became fashionable to 

91 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

do something by contributions or sales for 
this lame girl's angelic enterprise. Her 
pretty Peabody ducks, with rainbows round 
their necks, in the duck-pond in West Park, 
laid eggs and hatched their broods for it. 
Like David, she had it in her heart to build 
a house unto the Lord — a House of Mercy. 
Like David, she died without seeing its com- 
pletion, but not without the joy of assurance 
in her heart. A friend said to her, "If you 
go before the money is raised and the build- 
ing erected, and I survive you, I will watch 
over your project and see it through." Not 
very long after this little lame soldier "went 
west," her brave enterprise "went over the 
top" to victory. By the cooperation of many 
friends the building now stands complete, 
paid for, and full of little cripples, for whom 
it is a home, a hospital, and a school. It 
needs only endowment to carry current ex- 
penses. There is plenty of ground for en- 
largement when needed. Many of the crip- 
pled children can be cured, their deformities 
rectified by orthopedic surgery in Danforth 
Hospital. The plot of ground Ida coveted 

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A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

most for a site was desired for two reasons; 
because it was adjacent to Dr. Mary Stone's 
hospital, and because it belonged to a China- 
man and on it was a pond or pool used by 
the Chinese for drowning babies. Infan- 
ticide is frightfully common in parts of 
China. A Chinese woman recently told one 
of our missionary workers, with entire sang 
froid, that she had drowned seven of her 
own girl babies. That lot was purchased, 
that horrid pond filled up, and on the lot 
stands to-day a solid and convenient edifice 
on the front of which friends have placed 
a tablet of enduring brass, "The Ida Gracey 
Home for Cripples." When Miss Jennie 
V. Hughes, head of the Knowles Training 
School for Girls, cried joyfully to us from 
the antipodes, "The Gracey Home for Crip- 
ples is completed. How radiantly happy 
Ida must be in heaven!" this was the mes- 
sage sent up by spirit wireless: 

"While well you fare in God's good care 
Somewhere within the blue, 
You know to-day, your dearest dream 
Came true — is true — all true." 
93 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

As a rule the members of the heroic invalid 
class suffer unnoticed and slip unobserved 
out of life's backdoor into oblivion. We 
have thought fit to set her and her class for 
a moment where they belong, in full public 
view, among the valiant. In that tremen- 
dous masterpiece of portraiture, the Ring 
and the Book, the Pope offers A Salute to 
the Valiant in his declaration that Pompilia 
through all her tragic sufferings is a greater 
victor than Michael the Archangel with his 
sword and shield and spear, and that all the 
valor of the world's warriors cannot match 
the marvel of a soul like Pompilia's. 

We have also classed Ida Gracey with 
notable benefactors. When a railroad mag- 
nate, having helped to loot a railway system, 
puts some of his millions into a Home for 
Cripples, the newspapers headline him as a 
noble benefactor ; but this simple, unpretend- 
ing girl, whom no newspaper headlines, is 
far more noble and more beneficent. And 
the Home for Cripples at Kiukiang is more 
wonderfully beautiful in the eyes of the 
angels than the Robin's Nest at Irvington- 

94 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

on-the-Hudson, supported by Vanderbilts 
and Rockefellers. A beautiful little Chris- 
tian philanthropist was she, in comparison 
with whom the richest woman in the world, 
gloating greedily over her hoarded millions, 
must be regarded as a scaly, sordid, and 
gluttonish creature crawling crookedly in 
the muck ; the memories of the two differing 
as a fragrance from a stench. So the human 
race would vote. 

We have not exaggerated. Ruskin 
twitted G. F. Watts, painter of portraits, 
with turning his sitters into angels though 
they were mere humans. But Lady Hol- 
land said to Watts, "I never really know 
my friends till you have painted them." We 
are apt to be skeptical about the greatness 
of our contemporaries. George William 
Curtis said, in his eloquent lament over 
Theodore Winthrop, " Heroes in history 
seem the more heroic because they are far 
off, haloed by distance. But if we should 
tell the plain truth about some of our every- 
day neighbors, equally heroic, it would sound 
like high-colored fiction." Age and experi- 

95 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

ence should not wither one's enthusiasm for 
humanity. Professor Seelye, in his "Ecce 
Homo" forty years ago, affirmed and en- 
deavored to show that the crowning distinc- 
tion, the most fascinating trait, of the Man 
of Galilee was his enthusiasm for humanity. 
Breathes there a man with soul so dead as 
never to himself hath said : 

"How beauteous mankind is! 
O brave, good world that hath 
Such people in it"? 

In W. L. Watkinson's Gates of Dawn, the 
passage for March 21 (Ida Gracey's Birth- 
day) is: "He was transfigured before them," 
with this pertinent exclamation following, 
"What possibilities of glory there are in hu- 
man nature!" 

We have not over-labored our theme. 
Our meanest and dingiest danger is that we 
may be too dull to appreciate those with 
whom we live, the only ones to whom ap- 
preciation is of any value. This brave girl 
is far more worthy of this, our modest In 
Memoriam, than Arthur Henry Hallam 

96 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

was of the thousand verses from England's 
greatest laureate in the longest, most elabo- 
rate, and most labored threnody ever com- 
posed, on which Tennyson labored more than 
seventeen years in eulogy of one in whose 
portrait A. C. Benson sees "a heavy-fea- 
tured young man with a flushed face, who 
looks more like a country bumpkin on the 
opera-bouffe stage than like an intellectual 
archangel." 

The Thebans had a law commanding 
artists to make their statues more beautiful 
than the model. We have not done that, but 
if we had, it would not have been, artistically, 
a crime. 

What was it this prostrate, helpless, suf- 
fering sick girl really achieved? We will 
paint the thing as we see it, for the God of 
Things as they Are. Not much imagination 
is needed to visualize and dramatize what 
essentially happened there at Kiukiang. The 
tableau is like this: Pagan mothers throw- 
ing their babies into a loathsome pond to 
drown and float, to swell and rot and stew 
stenchf ully in the sun ; the demons of cruelty 

97 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

which infest that Land of Dragons and 
devour both bodies and souls almost visibly- 
squatting around the margin, their jaws 
dripping with the putrid hell-broth. Above 
this fetid feast of fiends, hovering in the 
sky on wings of Christian pity, the spirit 
of a seraphic girl, friend of the friendless, 
helper of the helpless, who with one wave 
of her white hands frightens away the fiends ; 
and, as if by miracle, up from that grisly 
ground there rises red the divine fulfillment 
of a sick girl's dream, to be a shelter of 
mercy and love for poor little hated and 
devil-hunted cripples through many genera- 
tions. Secretary F. M. North, of the For- 
eign Missions Office, looking upon that noble 
Christian settlement at Kiukiang, wrote: 
"The grouping of Christlike service in and 
about the Danforth Hospital is one of the 
finest expressions of missionary beneficence 
and devotion I have ever seen." The cluster 
of buildings which house that humane set- 
tlement is among the solidest of Christian 
evidences. The work done in and the influ- 
ence radiating from that great center of 

98 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

beneficent activity constitute an enormous, 
far-reaching, and convincing evangelizing 
force. "What think ye of Christ, who brings 
you such great gifts of mercy and love, health 
and knowledge, enlightenment and peace?" 
is the question that flies abroad on every wind 
that blows over that whole region. As a re- 
sult of an operation on a crippled boy patient 
in one of the Chinese Mission hospitals, 
ninety people of his village came seeking the 
" Jesus-religion." 

Browning devotes a thrilling and en- 
nobling poem to commemorating the simple 
deed of a poor young coasting pilot, who, 
happening to know the channels and being 
of the crew, took the flagship's helm and 
steered the French fleet, chased by enemies, 
safe to port; and who, when asked by the 
admiral to name his own reward, only re- 
quested a whole holiday, leave to go and see 
his wife whom he calls the Belle Aurore. Not 
finding that humble hero's name carved upon 
the Louvre or any public place, the poet de- 
cides to put that name upon his pages, say- 
ing: 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

"So, for better or for worse, 

Herve Riel, accept my verse; 

In my verse, Herve Riel, do thou once more 

Save the squadron, honor France, 

Love thy wife, the Belle Aurore." 

The name of the valiant little invalid of 
Clifton Springs is not numbered in "the thin 
red line of 'eroes when the drums begin to 
roll"; it is not even in the foolish pages of 
"Who's Who?"; but it is stenciled now on 
these pages. 

And it has its place in the sun graven upon 
an enduring tablet on the front of the Ida 
Gracey Home for Cripples in the city beside 
China's great river at Kiukiang where grace, 
mercy, and healing will soon be flowing from 
the Water-of-Life Hospital, as already for 
many years from the other noble institutions 
grouped in that shining center of Christian 
beneficence. 

And yonder in "the land which is very far 
off," where her eyes "see the King in his 
beauty," in the City of God by the River of 
Life, one page in the Lamb's Book of Life 
shines with the pearly luster of the name of 

100 



A SALUTE TO THE VALIANT 

Frances Ida Gracey. The angels love the 
very letters of that name. 

Coordinate with "Blessed are the dead who 
die in the Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit," 
Carlyle framed a complementary beatitude: 
"Blessed are the valiant who have lived in 
the Lord. Amen, saith the Spirit." 



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